A 19-year-old Bourg woman is facing multiple charges of animal cruelty after abandoning a dog and several puppies in a mobile home, authorities said.
Lucina Mildred Billiot is charged with seven counts of simple cruelty to animals and one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Billiot was arrested Sunday after deputies were called out around 12:45 a.m. to investigate an animal complaint on the 300 block of Grace Street in Houma, authorities said.
The responding deputy was informed that a tenant who moved out of a trailer had left a female pit bull and seven puppies behind for two days, said Chief Criminal Deputy Terry Daigre.
“The deputy investigated and upon entering the open door of the trailer detected a strong smell of urine,” Daigre said. “The mother dog was located and then in the rear bathroom, in a bathtub, were located the seven puppies, covered in urine and feces. One of the puppies was not moving.”
A Terrebonne Parish Animal Control agent responded to the scene and removed the mother dog and her puppies. One of the puppies was seriously ill and had to be euthanized, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The deputy learned through investigation that the owner of the mother pit bull had to move and could not keep the animal, authorities said. The deputy later located the owner, identified as Billiot, on the 100 block of Montegut Street and took her into custody.
The puppies and their mother, whose name is Nala, were taken to the Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter, authorities said.
“When we got them here we immediately had to bathe them because they were covered in feces and urine,” said Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter Manager Valerie Robinson. “The deputy was great. She helped us out with bathing them and got them warmed up and together with the mom. They’re still skinny and are being treated by our veterinarian right now mostly for intestinal parasites and lack of nutrition. We’re working to get them back to where they should be medically. We ended up losing one of them.”
Robinson said the shelter encounters animal abandonment cases far too often.
“It’s not acceptable for people to just think their animals are disposable and they could just leave them behind,” Robinson said. “That is not OK. People need to be held accountable for their actions of cruelty and neglect of animals.”
Aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Simple animal cruelty is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in jail.
Billiot was released from the Terrebonne Parish jail after posting a $10,000 bond.
--Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.